Microsoft has said publicly that Windows 11 will be released to general availability before the end of 2021. A Microsoft tweet now explains when Windows 11 upgrades will happen for Windows 10 PCs: sometime in 2022, implying that new PCs with Windows 11 will ship first.
Microsoft confirmed more details on its Windows timeline in a tweet late on Friday, when the official Windows Twitter account responded to a user question.
“Windows 11 is due out later in 2021 and will be delivered over several months,” the Windows account tweeted. “The rollout of the upgrade to Windows 10 devices already in use today will begin in 2022 through the first half of that year.”
When Microsoft launched Windows 11 on June 24, the company said then that the Windows 11 operating system would be released by holiday 2021, and that Windows Insiders would have their first official chance to try out the new operating system this week. (A Windows 11 build had leaked earlier, giving the Internet a chance to try out Windows 11 even as word circulated that the leaked build was incomplete.)
If Windows 10 users won’t be the first to receive Windows 11, new PCs with Windows 11 will apparently be first instead. Microsoft has said that new Windows 11 PCs will be available from a number of its established PC partners, including its own Surface lineup.
Buying a new PC optimized for Windows 11 might be the simplest, though not the cheapest, way of ensuring that your PC is compatible. In the past few days, Microsoft released the hardware requirements for Windows 11. Those include the requirement that your PC have a TPM 2.0 chip, a necessity Microsoft tried to explain last week. Your PC must also have at least an 8th-gen Core chip or above installed, or a second-generation AMD Ryzen processor or younger.
Those unexpected requirements are having a worrying cascade effect, invalidating many user-built as well as OEM PCs from Windows 11 eligibility. Even many of Microsoft’s older Surface PCs won’t make the Windows 11 cut.
Microsoft hasn’t said when Windows 11 will be officially released, though history tells us that Microsoft typically launches new operating systems in the fall. Microsoft released the Windows 10 October 2020 Update (20H2) on October 20, 2020, and the Windows 10 November 2019 Update (19H2) on November 12, 2019. Microsoft first launched Windows 10 on July 29, 2015.